The Florida Retail Federation announces that we were successful in convincing the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to initiate the rule-making process with the goal of developing rules that will set forth the standards and criteria by which the Division will assess whether license applications seeking approval pursuant to section 561.221(2) (known as the “tourism exception”), Florida Statutes, address and satisfy the standards in that statute. Given this turn of events we will withdraw our administrative petition against the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
We filed the administrative petition in order to seek clarity on the tourism exception to the beverage license law. The rule-making process gives us this opportunity; it is an affirmative step towards clarifying how this statute is being applied. We look forward to working collaboratively with the Department and all impacted parties through the rule-making process. At the same time, the legislature is evaluating beverage industry concerns and hearing bills regarding industry licensure and regulation.
Both the legislative and rule-making processes offer the opportunity for open communication and collaboration. We are pleased to be an active participant on both of these fronts, and we will work toward a solution that considers the impact to all beverage industry licensees.
The Florida Retail Federation is focused on solutions for our members. When we filed our administrative petition last week with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation regarding the tourism exception to the three tier system, our goal was to establish clarity in the beverage laws. We are pleased to share with you that we have been in discussions with the Department to encourage them to seek rule making on the tourism exception. Our initial conversations have been promising.
We have indicated that if the Department moves forward with rule making, we will request that our petition be put in abeyance. This means we will put our petition on hold as we work with the Department and all other impacted parties to craft a rule that is clear and fair. At the same time, the legislature will be working on legislation that addresses this area of law. We will also be working collaboratively in the legislative process to make sure our members' concerns are heard and addressed.
This alert goes out to you weekly with links to information we receive from John Bodnovich, Executive Director of the American Beverage Licensees Association.
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Update 1-14-2015 - Yesterday, several articles were published by members of the media regarding the Florida Retail Federation's long-held position on maintaining a structured system of alcoholic beverage sales. There is now public confusion over the steps which Florida Retail, on behalf of its Retail Beverage Council, has taken to initiate a rule-making process with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).
FRF and its members see a need to clarify DBPR's requirements which allow certain retailers to be granted alcohol licenses based on their ability to boost tourism numbers. This type of license was initially created solely for amusement parks, attraction venues, and other locations that bring in tourists and provide tax dollars to the state. Since then, the marketplace has changed, and DBPR is now issuing licenses to breweries with tasting rooms based on the tourism exception.
"We are simply urging the Department to clarify its standards for this specific tourism-related alcohol license via the standard rule-making process," said Rick McAllister, president and CEO of FRF. "The Florida Beverage Council, an entity of FRF, is a leader of the beverage industry and will work alongside the state of Florida in order to achieve fair and appropriate guidelines."
Original Sent 1-12-2015 - On Friday, January 9, the Florida Retail Federation filed a petition for rule-making on behalf of the Retail Beverage Council in order to ensure clear guidelines are established for a specific type of beverage license administered through the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. It is a priority of RBC to protect the Florida alcohol licensing system, which is in the best interest of the retailer and consumer. Currently, the state of Florida is issuing licenses to breweries with tasting rooms based on the tourism exception, which was initially created solely for attraction venues and amusement parks, locations that contribute significantly through job creation, tax dollars, and travel spending. We are asking the Department to clarify their requirements for the tourism-related alcohol license based on the changing marketplace.
If you have any questions regarding our position on this issue, please do not hesitate to contact Randy Miller or Samantha Padgett at (850) 222-4082.
This alert goes out to you weekly with links to information we receive from John Bodnovich, Executive Director of the American Beverage Licensees Association. Due to holidays and end-of-month/year reports, there are more items than usual.
Please click on the links below to access each of the updates:
In addition, because the issue does not appear to be going away and licensees may be faced with it in your state legislatures this year, ABL is sharing a recent NABCA paper on powdered alcohol. It provides a concise overview of the history of the product…and also mentions possible alternative products, e.g., alcohol pills.